• The Past and Future of LNG in Alaska

      Tussing, Arlon R. (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2005)
      Why do negotiations between the State and the North Slope gas producers ignore LNG [liquefied natural gas] export proposals, including that of the Alaska Gasline Port Authority [AGPA]? The three main North Slope gas producers [ConocoPhillips, BP and ExxonMobil], and Alaska’s Murkowski Administration, agree that an overland pipeline from Prudhoe Bay, crossing Canada to the U.S. Midwest, is the most promising transport system under present and foreseeable conditions, for marketing Arctic gas. Nevertheless, plans to ship LNG in “cryogenic” [low-pressure refrigerated] tankers from a Southcentral Alaska port such as Valdez or Kenai, to the Lower 48 or East Asia remain technically plausible marketing alternatives to a transcontinental gas pipeline. Currently, the most prominent proposal for such an alternative is sponsored by the Alaska Gasline Port Authority [AGPA], a coalition of three municipalities—the North Slope and Fairbanks North Star Boroughs, and the City of Valdez—which are located North to South along the route of the TransAlaska oil pipeline from the Arctic Ocean to Prince William Sound.
    • The Path to a Fiscal Solution: Use Earnings from All Our Assets

      Goldsmith, Oliver Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-04-23)
      Thanks to a combination of good decisions and a little luck, today Governor Hammond’s vision has become a reality. More than $60 billion in financial accounts now generates more income for the state government than petroleum production. Yet we continue to rely mostly on current petroleum revenues to pay for public services—and as oil production declines, “sliding down the falling Prudhoe Bay revenue curve” is proving to be a formula for fiscal and economic disaster. In fiscal year 2016, General Fund revenues are expected to be only about $2.2 billion. That will leave an apparent “deficit” of about $3.3 billion, based on spending of $5.5 billion. But the state doesn’t have to face such a huge shortfall. There is a straightforward solution that Jay Hammond foresaw: using both current revenues and earnings from the state’s portfolio of assets (financial accounts and future petroleum revenues) to pay for public services.
    • Perceptions of Universal Ballet Delivery Systems

      Hanna, Virgene; Passini, Jessica (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2018-06-22)
      A total of 412 registered voters in the Bethel, Dillingham, and Kusilvak Census Areas completed surveys with ISER interviewers in March and April of 2018. The majority (74%) of respondents reported their race as Alaska Native and 13% were White. Near the beginning of the survey, interviewers asked respondents how they preferred to receive their ballot and 60% said they preferred to get it in person on Election Day, 21% would prefer to receive it by mail, and 17% would prefer to receive their ballot online. After respondents heard a description of three voting methods being considered: 1) keep voting the way it is now; 2) mail out and mail back; and 3) receive ballot in the mail and have different ways to return it their preferences changed somewhat. Of the three methods, keep voting the way it is now was the first choice by 49% of respondents, followed by 36% for option 3, and 14% for option 2. Respondents had little experience with voting methods other than in-person. When asked what made it difficult for them and other members of their community to vote, personal reasons, such as being sick or out of town, was the most frequent (37%) response. About two-thirds (64%) reported personal reasons made it difficult for people in their community to vote followed by 46% saying that the ballot being written in English made it difficult for people in their community. Over half (56%) of respondents reported they are satisfied with their mail service, only 17% of those who were satisfied said they would prefer to receive or return their ballot by mail.
    • Perceptions of Universal Ballot Delivery Systems

      Hanna, Virgene; Passini, Jessica (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 6/22/2018)
      A total of 412 registered voters in the Bethel, Dillingham, and Kusilvak Census Areas completed surveys with ISER interviewers in March and April of 2018. The majority (74%) of respondents reported their race as Alaska Native and 13% were White. Near the beginning of the survey, interviewers asked respondents how they preferred to receive their ballot and 60% said they preferred to get it in person on Election Day, 21% would prefer to receive it by mail, and 17% would prefer to receive their ballot online. After respondents heard a description of three voting methods being considered: 1) keep voting the way it is now; 2) mail out and mail back; and 3) receive ballot in the mail and have different ways to return it their preferences changed somewhat. Of the three methods, keep voting the way it is now was the first choice by 49% of respondents, followed by 36% for option 3, and 14% for option 2. Respondents had little experience with voting methods other than in-person. When asked what made it difficult for them and other members of their community to vote, personal reasons, such as being sick or out of town, was the most frequent (37%) response. About two-thirds (64%) reported personal reasons made it difficult for people in their community to vote followed by 46% saying that the ballot being written in English made it difficult for people in their community. Over half (56%) of respondents reported they are satisfied with their mail service, only 17% of those who were satisfied said they would prefer to receive or return their ballot by mail.
    • Permanent Fund Policy Questions and Informal Review of Proposals for Change

      Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1997)
      The growing importance of the Permanent Fund in the fiscal, economic, political and social life of the state requires that we periodically review how it is working, not necessarily to change it, but to ensure that it is continuing to do what is best for Alaska. This paper reviews recent proposals for changes in Permanent Fund policies using a series of questions that each stakeholder should consider. The answers to these questions should help to evaluate those proposals and stimulate thought about the role of the Permanent Fund in Alaska's future. Prepared for Principles and Interests: The Permanent Fund and Alaska's Future, a conference sponsored by the Alaska Humanities Forum.
    • Petroleum Industry and Fairbanks Economy

      Huskey, Lee (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1995)
      The petroleum industry plays an important role in the economy of the Fairbanks North Star Borough, but that role is largely hidden from view. A major portion of the local economy is linked to petroleum production, and economic activity in the petroleum sector is one of the most important determinants of the size of the overall economy. The primary task of this report was to estimate the size of the Fairbanks petroleum sector. This report defines the petroleum sector to include all economic activity in the region which would not exist without North Slope oil production. The report looks at the role of the petroleum sector in 1994 and was prepared for BP (Alaska) Inc. for presentation to the State of Alaska Oil and Gas Policy Council.
    • Planning The First American-Soviet Park

      Tichotsky, John (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1991)
      The proposed Beringian Heritage International Park is tentatively to include the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve in Alaska and the Chukotka and Provideniya districts of the Chukotka Autonomous Republic. The National Park Service and the National Audubon Society asked ISER to examine resource development, political organization, and other factors that will influence the Societ Union's designation of land for the international park. This research summary provides an overview of the recent report on ISER's recent report on Chukotka - "Use and Allocation of Natural Resources in the Chukotka Autonomous District" by John Tichotsky.
    • Policy Implications of Freestanding Emergency Departments

      Frazier, Rosyland; Guettabi, Mouhcine (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-05-01)
      Policymakers have a responsibility to look at both the short- and long-term implications of their decisions. The state’s current fiscal situation, coupled with rising health-care costs makes “budget neutrality” highly desirable in decision-making. In spite of efforts to bend the cost curve, health expenditures have grown inexorably in Alaska. As of 2009 our health expenditures per capita were the second highest in the nation. This means that the state spends a larger portion of its budget on health costs, employers allocate more of employees’ compensation to health premiums, and households spend more of their disposable income on out-of- pocket costs, premiums, and co-pays. The evidence we provide in this analysis consistently shows that freestanding emergency departments charge higher prices for services that are available for considerably less in traditional settings. Allowing freestanding emergency departments to enter the Alaska market goes against the many efforts being undertaken to contain health-care costs. Markets forces explain a significant portion of the high health-care prices charged in Alaska, but in this case the state has an opportunity to use its regulatory authority to help prevent even higher prices in the future. Putting costs aside, in considering emergency services one needs to rationalize the hospital and clinical capacity across a region and the needs of the population. In the Alaska health-care system there are problems with coordinating the delivery of care. Freestanding emergency departments pose the risk of exacerbating that lack of coordination, if people use them in lieu of seeing their primary physicians—which can disrupt the continuum of care and potentially hurt outcomes for patients.
    • The Political Economics of United States Marine Aquaculture

      Knapp, Gunnar (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2010-10)
      Government leasing and regulatory policies are critically important for the development of marine aquaculture to a scale far below its economic potential. Two extreme examples are the State of Alaska's ban on all finfish farming, and the absence of an enabling regulatory framework for aquaculture in offshore federal waters. This paper suggests five broad reasons for which U.S. policies have been unfavorable towards marine aquaculture: (1) Marine aquaculture is new and small; (2) Fish and marine waters are traditionally public resources; (3) Many Americans perceive potential negative effects of marine aquaculture without offsetting positive effects; (4) MGOs have systematically and effective opposed marine aquaculture; and (5) The governance system for leasing and regulation is structurally biased against U.S. marine aquaculture. The paper suggests four broad strategies for addressing these political challenges: (1) Fix real problems; (2) Demonstrate benefits; (3) Argue effectively; and (4) Reform Governance.
    • Population, Employment, and Income Projections for Alaska Census Areas

      Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1998)
      These projections have been prepared to accompany the statewide and regional projections prepared by ISER in March 1997 for the Alaska Department of Transportation. Those projections appeared in a report entitled Alaska's Economy and Population, 1959-2020. This document contains tabulated data with very little interpretive or contextual information. Please see the aforementioned report for these details.
    • Port of Anchorage TIGER II BCA Model

      Goldsmith, Oliver Scott; Schwörer, Tobias (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2011-08-17)
    • Potential Improvements to National Park Service Visitor Surveys and Money Generation Modeling in Alaska

      Colt, Steve; Fay, Ginny; Hanna, Virgene (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2013-12)
      This study presents options for improving the use of the Money Generation Model in National Park Service (NPS) land units in Alaska. The Money Generation Model (MGM) is used nationwide to model economic impacts of visitation to public lands, including National Park Units. This analysis identifies potential improvements to the application of the MGM model and visitor survey processes for use in Alaska. Improvements include changes to visitor intercept methods to improve statistical reliability of the sampling process and a more representative sample, changes in the survey instrument to more accurately reflect Alaska visitor travel and expenditure patterns, and better identification of the economic sphere of influence of Alaska national park units.
    • Potential Supplies and Costs of Waste Wood and Paper in Southcentral Alaska

      Larson, Eric; DeRoche, Patricia (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1996)
      During the last three years, the Alaska Center for Appropriate Technology has developed a manufacturing process that would use wood and paper waste to produce a high-quality medium-density fiberboard. The developers of the manufacturing process have determined that a fiberboard plant would require 30,000 to 60,000 tons of wood and paper waste annually to make it feasible. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation asked the Institute of Social and Economic Research to determine if there is a sufficient supply of wood and paper waste available in Southcentral Alaska to make a fiberboard plant practical. This study focuses on identifying available sources of wood and paper waste in the Anchorage area because we found it is the only area in Southcentral Alaska where there are adequate supplies. The costs of obtaining these materials for a manufacturing plant depend on the cost of purchasing, collecting, hauling, and sorting waste from many different sources. These costs also vary for many reasons; and to reflect these variations, we have developed low and high estimates of the cost per ton of obtaining each source of wastes. Section III presents these low and high cost estimates.
    • Power Cost Equalization Funding Formula Review

      Fay, Ginny; Meléndez, Alejandra Villalobos; Schwörer, Tobias (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2012-03)
      The purpose of this study is to examine the current Power Cost Equalization (PCE) program formula’s impacts on incentives for implementation of energy efficiency and renewable energy measures. In addition, it examines if alternative formula structures might improve market signals that are more conducive to investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy in rural Alaska. As part of the analysis we also present information on the history of the PCE program and levels and patterns of electricity consumption across regions of Alaska. Alaska has large regional and intra-regional differences in energy consumption and prices that result from a number of factors including proximity to different types and quantities of resources, community population, remoteness, and transportation costs. Most communities in rural Alaska depend on volatile and high priced fossil fuels for the generation of electricity, space heating and transportation. The Alaska statewide weighted average residential rate for electricity (17.6 cents per kWh in CY2011) is substantially higher than the U.S. average of 11.8 cents per kWh (U.S. EIA, 2012). Yet in Alaska the average residential rate per kWh is currently lower than in Hawaii (34.5 cents), New York (18.4 cents) and Connecticut (18.1 cents). Hidden in the Alaska statewide average is considerable variation with some communities paying less than the national average and some—generally those least able to afford it—paying among the highest in the country. The Railbelt and Southeast regions have the lowest average residential electric rates (Appendix I map). North Slope residential customers also have lower average rates because of access to natural gas and North Slope Borough energy payments in addition to PCE disbursements. Most other regions have rates two to three times as high as Alaska urban rates. Some communities with hydroelectric power have notably low rates but customers are not paying the full, true cost of power because the cost of construction was heavily subsidized by state and federal governments. In Table 3 (p. 20) we present average annual residential electricity consumption and rates for different regions of Alaska.
    • Preliminary Estimates of the Economic Impact of the Anchorage Smoking Ordinance

      Larson, Eric (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2001)
      This report outlines preliminary estimates of the economic impact of an ordinance that implemented a ban on smoking in Anchorage restaurants and bars (2000 CIA). This analysis found that there was no detectable negative effect on employment in the hospitality industry by August of 2001. Between 2000 and 2001, employment increased by 10% in restaurants that went from restricted smoking before the ordinance to non-smoking after the ordinance, while employment increased by only 6% in restaurants that continued to allow restricted smoking after the ordinance.
    • Preliminary Investigation of the Economic Effects of Critical Habitat Designation for the Spectacled Eider and Steller's Eider on Alaska's North Slope

      Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2000)
      This report was prepared for BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. and Phillips Alaska Inc. in response to the call for comments on a potential Critical Habitat Designation.
    • Preventive Screenings Gap Analysis

      Frazier, Rosyland; Guettabi, Mouhcine; Wheeler, John; Cueva, Katie (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2013-10-01)
    • Price Formula Options for Alaska Pink Salmon

      Knapp, Gunnar (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1992)
      The wide swings in fishermen's prices for Alaska pink salmon in recent years has reawakened interest in the possibility of introducing price formulas under which fishermen's prices would be based on the wholesale prices received by processors. There are a wide variety of possible formulas which would have different implications for fishermen and processors. This paper presents a simple framework for thinking about price formula options. To illustrate historic trends in wholesale prices and fishermen's prices, and to illustrate how different price formula options would have worked during the period 1980-1991, I used Alaska statewide data for average wholesale case prices, average fishermen's prices, and statewide harvest volumes. I used the Anchorage consumer price index--the only price index available for Alaska--to adjust prices from nominal to "real 1991 dollars". None of these data necessarily reflect the situation of salmon fishermen or processors in specific regions of Alaska, since wholesale prices, harvest prices, harvest volumes, and inflation rates differ for different regions. However, whether or not these data accurately represent what happened in specific regions does not matter for this paper: the main purpose is to illustrate how different price formulas work and their advantages and disadvantages for fishermen and processorsPrepared for discussion at a conference on Toward Prosperity Through Stability: Making the Most of Alaska's Pink Salmon October 30-31, 1992 in Ketchikan, Alaska.
    • Program Evaluation: [Rose] Urban Rural Youth Program

      McDiarmid, G. Williamson; Frazier, Rosyland (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2002)
      This report evaluates how well the Alaska Humanties Forum Urban/Rural Youth Program - intended to build understanding and a statewide sense of community - achieved its aims in the first year of operation. The main body of this report provides information in both table and narrative form. Most of the qualitative information consists of verbatim quotes from students and parents. An executive summary is also available.